Sometimes things just need some shaking up.
In the throes of a three-game losing streak, K-State has made several depth chart changes in the last two weeks in an attempt to resurrect a once-potent offense, one that has floundered in the last few weeks due to turnovers, penalties and inconsistent play.
On offense, the Wildcats return tight end Thomas Hill to the two-deep. Hill saw is first action of the season after sustaining a leg injury 10 weeks ago in fall drills, catching two passes for 28 yards — one of them a 16-yard touchdown that pulled the Cats within 38-28 in the fourth quarter.
Hill, however, will still be lining up at No. 2 on the depth chart behind Brian Casey, who caught five passes against the Cowboys.
"He'll be our No. 2 tight end," coach Bill Snyder said. "We play with two tight ends on a consistent basis, and the second tight end will be in the ball game."
Another change on offense came last week when Antoine Polite supplanted freshman Jermaine Moriera at wide receiver. He responded by catching two passes for 33 yards, and had another long reception called back when quarterback Ell Roberson was beyond the line of scrimmage when he threw the ball.
"He's worked hard at it," Snyder said. "I was very pleased with the effort he played with. You had the opportunity to see those things."
On defense, the Wildcats will likely start Thomas Houchin at defensive end in place of Kevin Huntley, despite Huntley leading the team in sacks with six. The move, made to bolster a rush defense that has given up gobs of yards in recent weeks, also brings an experienced senior to an otherwise inexperienced line.
Ted Sims will also make his second start at middle linebacker, replacing Matt Butler. Butler had started K-State's first six games but was knocked out of the Wildcats' game against Texas. Sims came in and led the defense to a stalwart effort in the second half, earning the starting job last week against Oklahoma State.
Defensive coordinator Bob Elliot said he was pleased with the effort against Texas, but Sims didn't come through against Oklahoma State. Still, he's listed at starter for Saturday.
All of the moves, Roberson said, were made to bring the fight back to the Wildcats.
"We just have to do a little better," he said, "and have more fight when we get on the field."
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